A while ago, mistakes that are groundless on medical terms were found by our organization in textbooks of “Family Psychology” taught in the Faculty of Psychology of Azerbaijan Teachers Institute. So, in the textbook, published in 2015 and approved by Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan Republic, homosexuality is described as abnormal sexual orientation disorder, pathology and is listed as pathology like pedophilia, and necrophilia. Also, it is mentioned that it occurs mainly in psychopaths. There is also a sentence about homosexuals being sick people.
Nefes LGBT Alliance” sent an information request to Ministry of Healthcare of Azerbaijan Republic on December 17th, 2015. The aim was to clarify how homosexuality is officially defined by Ministry of Healthcare. The official answer received on January 22nd 2016 is as follows:
– Homosexuality is officially removed from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD -10) and is no longer considered as mental disorder. And because Ministry of Healthcare of Azerbaijan republic uses ICD-10, homosexuality is not classified as a disease in our country.
– In Azerbaijan only ICD-10 is used as classification since 2005, as a result of which homosexuality cannot be considered as a mental disorder by doctors.
– Because homosexuality is not a diagnose it is unacceptable for doctors to diagnose it, or to claim to cure homosexuality. At the same time the mental disorders occurring in other people ( such as depression, identity disorders and etc) can occur in homosexual people. That is why anyone who suffers from mental disorders regardless orientation can receive necessary medical care.
As it can be seen from the answer received from the Ministry of Healthcare homosexuality is not classified as a disease neither by WHO nor MH. So on what grounds homosexuality is described as a disease in the mentioned textbook? Despite the fact that the Ministry of Education is not dependent on Ministry of Healthcare, the textbook is directly connected with healthcare system. The students now studying under this Ministry of Education will be psychologist working in healthcare in near future. The disagreement between these two ministries directly affects the lives of homosexual and transsexual people. A lot of homosexuals told our organization that they have been forcibly taken to psychologists and psychotherapists, treated by respective doctors under the name “normalization”.
In addition to this in the book approved by the Ministry of Education homosexuality is described as “immorality because this kind of inadmissible sexual act is outside of the moral and religious norms and is completely different from the sexual act allowed by divine force”, hateful sentences are used regarding homosexuals. It is unacceptable to teach psychology by following religious grounds. To speak in the name of the “divine force” is a new level of absurd by the author of the book. Homosexuality was removed from criminal code by late president Heydar Aliyev in 2000. As mentioned in our constitution, government is separated from religion. This means that the governmental organizations must work under juridical regulatory not religious grounds. To insult homosexuals, to call them “immoralities” because of something that is not a disease or crime is a crime itself. This textbook of the Ministry of Education is directly contradicting Azerbaijan Constitution and Crime Code.
Our organization demands serious investigation of this matter, Ministry of Education not to conduct an alternative medical policy, a disclaimer from the author regarding the big mistake in the textbook, removal of this book which is contradicting science from the sale and teaching.
Also we ask Ministry of Education for their respective point of view and investigate the matter.
Let’s not forget that beside the legal concerns, the readers of this textbook are future psychologists and their wrong education will result in their wrongful attitude toward homosexuals, as a result of which a lot of teenagers and young people have/continue having mental traumas.